It is in your hands to become one of the greatest entrepreneurs; it’s your responsibility to lead the way to grow a truly wonderful business, one that will generate revenues and value for your clients, and provide you, your co-founders and employees with a true sense of achievement and satisfaction.” ~Yael Tamar, Co-Founder and Co-CEO, SolidBlock.
To call Yael Tamar talented and accomplished is to underestimate this smart, savvy businesswoman. One of the few women at the top of fintech (financial technology) start-ups, Yael is trilingual in English, Russian and Hebrew and has worked hard to earn her position.
As co-founder and Co-CEO of SolidBlock, an issuance platform and a marketplace for property-backed digital securities, Yael is at the top of her game. A mother of two and an avowed vegan and athlete, Yael works tirelessly to educate her clients and the general public about SolidBlock’s pivotal role in making real estate investing accessible, transparent, and streamlined.
“The most important thing for me as an entrepreneur is to be able to see the ‘big picture.’ I wake up early, plan my day, and critically assess my performance over the past days or week,” explains Yael. “I also try to meditate daily but during the COVID-19 pandemic, with all of the stress of having children at home, I haven’t been able to practice it consistently.”
Born in Crimea on the northern coast of the Black Sea, Yael was seven when she realized that the currency of her country had no value. “I remember how one day I went to buy ice-cream with bills that had far too many zeros on them and the next day they had even more! I realized with shock that this paper money was worthless,” she says.
The combination of experiencing first hand a rigid centralized financial system and then moving to the US as a 16-year-old to participate as a high school exchange student in Kershaw, South Carolina, propelled Yael towards the study of finance. With the completion of her MA in Economics from the City University of New York, Yael started working as an analyst at a Wall Street brokerage firm. She moved into mergers and acquisitions, and private equity, then into financial engineering, structuring the products and indices for pension funds and family offices.
Yael was 21 when she came to Israel, settling into Tel Aviv, the city that never sleeps. Her free-wheeling spirit propelled her to find ways to disrupt the traditional financial and real estate sectors. She co-founded several fintech startups, an import/export company (that was acquired by an investor), and a successful marketing agency in the blockchain space.
“Every time you fail, you shouldn’t let it cast a shadow of doubt on your ability to lead a successful startup,” confesses Yael. “The reason that some startups are successful is the fact that they know how to acknowledge their own failures, learn from them and turn them around. A startup is in fact an experiment and if you fail early on it will help you find success.”
An avid traveler, Yael joyfully traveled to Dubai after the signing of the Abraham Accords between Israel and the UAE.
Yael is also a regional co-chair at FIBREE, the Foundation for International Blockchain and Real Estate Expertise, the leading international network for exchanging knowledge between the real estate industry. She is an influencer, in the parlance of today, who has appeared as a guest speaker in more than 50 conferences and events, produces a popular podcast called BlockSolid with influential interviews about the technologies revolutionizing the real estate industry, (that can be found on Apple podcast and Spotify), has created a fully on-line course on tokenization, and is planning to release her upcoming book on tokenization as the bridge to new finance in 2021. Yael was listed in Top 25 Blockchain and Cryptocurrency Speakers and 100 Most Inspirational Women In Blockchain. Yael has founded the Women in Block global network, advancing women influencers in the blockchain industry.
SolidBlock wraps real estate assets in a compliant crypto-like structure that lets investors buy and sell these assets at any time on the SolidBlock marketplace or participating exchanges. Its platform is used across a variety of fields such as finance, real estate, tokenization, fintech, and digital securities. The company is best known for its role in the world’s first successful commercial property tokenization, raising $18M for the St. Regis Resort in Aspen, Colorado.
Women make up just seven percent of the total number of start-up founders and co-founders, according to a recent study by the Deloitte Center for Financial Services.[i] They further found that an analysis of more than 8,600 companies in 49 countries showed women held 16.9% of all global board seats in 2018, up by a very small percentage from 15.0% in 2016.[ii]
There seems to be a difference of opinion over how well these women-led companies are competing for funding. According to Deloitte, during the last five years, funding for women-founded startups grew at a compound annual growth rate of 58.9%, while funding for men-founded grew by 29.1%.[iii] A February 2021 article in Forbes, however, suggests that quarterly venture funding for female founders dropped to a three-year low with women receiving only 2.7% of funding despite the average annual revenue from women-led businesses increasing by 68%.[iv]
What is clear is that a recent study of executives across genders found that women were perceived to be more innovative and resilient.[v]
Just as the fintech industry flowered in 2008 after the global financial crisis that was caused by a combination of excessive risk-taking by banks and the bursting of the US housing market, the effects from COVID-19 and its disruption to the business environment could help level the playing field and offer new opportunities for women entrepreneurs.
“The disruption in our lives and in our businesses caused by COVID-19 reveals a need for platforms like SolidBlock,” explains Yael. “Tokenization—and the moving online of all aspects of real estate sales—allows businesses to get the liquidity they need in these stressful times. The more liquid an asset is, the more accurate its price and the more likely to find investors or lenders in times of need.”
With technology being a clear winner this past year, the plucky and innovative Yael Tamar is sure to successfully ride the coming waves.
To hear Yael speak on International Women’s Day, sign up for the Cyprus Fintech Summit, Women’s Day Edition, on March 8, at 2:30 p.m., (GMT+2). Cyprus Fintech Summit is an international summit dedicated to the future of technological innovation in financial services.
Then at 8:00 p.m., (GMT +2) join SolidBlock’s conversation with inspiring women CEOs who work in blockchain as they address the gender equity gap and explain why women founders have more fun.
[i] “Achieving Gender Equity in the Fintech Community,” October 1, 2020, Deloitte Center for Financial Services.
[ii] Deloitte Global Center for Corporate Governance, “Women in the Boardroom: A Global Perspective, Sixth Edition,” (2019).
[iv] Walker, Eli and Sophia Platt “Women Founders And Funders Are Outperforming, So Why Is Gender Inequality Growing, And What Do We Do About It?” Forbes, February 4, 2021.
[v] (Hewlett, Marshall, and Sherbin, “How diversity can drive innovation”; Jack Zenger and Joseph Folkman, “Research: Women score higher than men in most leadership skills,” Harvard Business Review, June 25, 2019.)